Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

UK leader tries to ease anxiety over Brexit

Confident It goes without saying that I believe this sensible Brexit can and will be delivered by a Tory Government led by Mrs May Confident It goes without saying that I believe this sensible Brexit can and will be delivered by a Tory Government led by Mrs May
Saul Franklin | 27 June, 2017, 01:19

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has responded to the publication of Theresa May's offer on citizens' rights by calling for "more ambition, clarity and guarantees" from the British government.

The 15-page document will grant European Union citizens who have lived in the United Kingdom for five years "settled status" after Britain leaves, meaning they will be treated as if they are United Kingdom citizens for healthcare, education, benefits and pensions.

The Home Office said today the new document was necessary because of any future plans to further restrict the rights of European Union citizens to live and work in the UK.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed May's proposals as "too little, too late".

After Brexit, EU citizens with settled status will be able to bring family members from overseas on the same terms as British nationals.

Those who arrive after the cut-off point can stay in the United Kingdom for a temporary period but "should have no expectation of guaranteed settled status".

May said the cut-off date had yet to be decided but would be no earlier than March 29, 2017 - when she triggered Article 50 marking the start of the formal Brexit process - and no later than the date Britain actually leaves the EU.

Those Europeans arriving after the cut-off date will be given a "grace period", likely two years, to apply for another form of immigration status allowing them to legally reside in Britain, such as a work permit.

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"We want you to stay", May said, after last year's referendum to end Britain's four-decade membership of the 28-nation bloc put the future of European Union citizens in doubt.

The Government also again rejected calls from the EU that the rights of citizens be upheld by the European Court of Justice, stating in its offer document today that the ECJ "will not have jurisdiction in the UK", but would instead be guaranteed by United Kingdom law.

The EU has said before tackling trade and their future relationship that there needs to be "significant progress" on EU priorities, including its demand that Britain settle a "Brexit bill" and the rights of expatriate citizens.

Global reinsurers have written to the European Commission (EC) to ask it to ensure mutual access between British and European Union reinsurance markets after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc due to worries about market disruption, according to extracts from a letter seen by Reuters.

European rules already allow member states to expel other EU citizens on security grounds, and between 4,000 and 5,000 EU prisoners were deported from Britain past year, according to the interior ministry.

Furthermore, EU nationals who have already gone through the arduous process of attaining permanent residency status will have to go through another registration process.

It remains unclear what the UK's entry requirements will be once it leaves the EU.

However, several key areas such as healthcare, professional qualifications and the rights of the self- employed fall in the negotiating category of "seek to ensure continuity" rather than a United Kingdom unilateral guarantee.

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